How I - and obviously others - feel about Big Sur

Just came across this reaction on the macos subreddit (not by me b.t.w.) and it’s actually a pretty accurate description on how I feel about Big Sur lately.


If you read about the many, many issues with Big Sur one can only wonder what Apple was thinking when they released this.

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Could you share the link?

i am still on osx mojave with my Mbp15mid2015. I am too afraid to update to catalina (some say there are still some bugs within apple mail) and I am even more afraid of Big Sur. I would be happy if you could list your bugs/problems.

I know that one day I need to update, because my third party applications probably will not be supported, however I am trying to hold on as much as i can…

Further Info: Is It Safe to Upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur? - TidBITS

It might be a good I idea to include the URL to those comments, if a fruitful “discussion” is intended. :slight_smile:

I am on Big Sur and I like it. My problems: none. Are there issues somewhere? Might very well be the case. Or to be frank: I am sure that there are issues, bugs and what not. That’s true for ANY software solution or operating system.

In my day job I am dealing with Windows. Just hot from the press on that end:

I do not recall something like that happening on the Mac side in recent history.

My opinion: there is a point when not updating to a recent OS version brings more issues to the table than updating the OS would have. :slight_smile:


I think it depends on the way you use your Mac if and to what extent you suffer from the bugs in Big Sur.

My problems are mainly with wired ethernet via a thunderbolt 3 dock. My monitor and other peripherals - connected via the same dock! - work perfectly fine. And I do not have monitor and bluetooth issues others encounter. Although I think those are mainly occuring with Big Sur on M1’s.

If I would have been on WiFi only, I wouldn’t have seen any issues at first sight (although the number of messages in the console doesn’t look healthy either - messages that I found occur on many other people’s Macs and for a long time).

The fact that the issues started with 11.2.1 (first the battery bug, then the ethernet one) and changed with the recent Big Sur updates of late, and the fact that (a) all other hardware connected via that same dock works, and (b) ethernet works fine after a reboot (until the Mac goes to sleep for a longer time) makes me pretty certain there is something wrong with Big Sur.

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I’m on Big Sur – it certainly wouldn’t impel me to want to “buy a Windows computer and switch back to Windows” **

After four months or so on macOS 11 I’m indifferent to it – neither great nor horrible. It was the same for Catalina, Mojave. No “this is wonderful, I am so pleased” reactions to any of them. Even though I’m on this machine all day, I’ve never experienced a “Big Sur bug”. I guess I don’t do whatever it is the bugs prevent.

** FWIW, I like Windows 10, Outlook, M365, etc. Neither better nor worse than macOS – just different, IMO.

I suspect this is going to be a "Yes it is! No it isn’t! “YES it IS!” thread. :laughing:


Since the latest update of Big Sur I have to literally reboot the Mac and/or unplug/replug my dock each time my MBP went to sleep for some time to revive my ethernet connection. I don’t have to do that with my lousy (and cheap) Win10 Dell laptop from work.

B.t.w. Windows is ugly as hell. Still.

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I am very happy with Big Sur. My Mac feels way more stable than it did under Mojave (I only went to Catalina for 3 weeks before Big Sur’s release :sweat_smile:)
It’s not perfect, there are still Apple annoyances here and there, but it’s not something that wasn’t there before. And I like the design much better than the previous one (although the toolbars could be clearer).
But then again, I liked the feeling of the butterfly keyboards. So the Internet will therefore have decreed I have no taste. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


This, was, no joke, a very important factor for me switching to Mac. If I’m sitting all day long in front of a computer, I want pleasing aesthetics. MS’ design language is obtuse and so ugly, it looks like they channeled the soul of old beige drab PC towers and incarnated it in typography. Such a feat. Win10 was depressing me for real. (Seven looked so nice in comparison…)


I still dont like it.
Mail UI is not user friendly
Messages has issues
Network utility gone
The frequent hang ups
etc etc

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My main issue with Big Sur is the bluetooth issues, but they’re even worse in windows.
Having to use windows for work shows me in so many ways I won’t be switching.


The first couple of months I was doing a lot of reboots for little problems as well as getting some crashes. Most things have seemed to cleared up at this point though. I am ok with it mostly now, although there are still some incredibly silly design decisions that I hate and I really wish they would just spend a year or two fixing bugs.


Hopefully Seth’s complaints have more impact than mine.

The difficulty, of course, is trying to extrapolate how many people are represented by such experiences.

From my own perspective, Big Sur — even in the earliest betas — has been more stable than Catalina, which would spontaneously reboot at least once a week. This was on a brand-new, high end 16" MacBook Pro.

I have a CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock which has given me no issues with USB or monitor (via Mini Display Port), except that if the MacBook Air’s screen goes off, the Dell monitor does not seem to come back on unless I power it off and then back on again.

Time Passes…

Ironically and literally as I was typing this post, the MacBook Air paniced with no warning, and I could not get it to successfully reboot until I disconnected it from my dock. It was also super hot for some reason.

This reminds me of a conversation that I had with someone the other day. I mentioned that the last “very stable no issues” version of macOS that I could remember was High Sierra. He laughed and said that his primary Mac is still on Sierra because he heard so many people talking about how buggy High Sierra was.

All of which is to say that it’s hard to gauge what ‘most’ people’s experiences are. Mine with Big Sur has been better than Catalina, but others say Catalina was better. Sierra or High Sierra? Depends on who you ask.

I think the last version of Mac OS X that people agreed on was Snow Leopard :slight_smile:

None of this is to diminish the very real problems that I know some people are having with Big Sur, only to say that I’m not sure that it is better or worse than every other version of macOS in recent years. Saying things like “What were they thinking releasing this?” suggests that the problems are universal, which I don’t believe they are. Perhaps a better way to put it would be “Why is the level of stability in recent versions of macOS so variable for many people?”


I have been running Big Sur on my iMac for about 2 months, upgraded from Mojave (never ran Catelina). Although the upgrade was a nightmare (spent an entire Saturday on the phone with Apple), I find Big Sur to be stable. I rebooted last week and noted that I had an uptime of 43 days (i.e. since the day I upgraded). I am a heavy user, in front of the screen for many hours per day. I haven’t tripped across any major issues (i dont use Apple Mail).

My only complaint is that the human interface is a little difficult for me. My biggest issue is that the boundary of windows is more indistinct. I don’t quite understand why, but when I try to grab a window header to move it I find myself clicking on the wrong window header. I also dont really like the larger radius on window corners but that is a nit.

I have been holding off upgrading my 2016 MBP from Mojave, but really should do that soon.

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Agree on most things you write. Like I wrote before, your experience with Big Sur (or any other version of macOS/OS X) depends on your use case. If I wouldn’t have to use a dock to get wired ethernet, I probably wouldn’t have noticed anything. So the fact that MacMini and iMac users are generally experiencing less issues might be because those machines still have ethernet ports. And likewise, the BT problems seem to be mostly tied to Apple Silicon Macs.

However, there are far too many complaints on the net to ignore the fact that Big Sur has some serious bugs. The fact that we’ve seen so many updates over a relatively limited period makes me think that even Apple sees that. And of course, those who speak out on the net are a minority of all Big Sur users. But likely also the ones who use their Mac more, or rather in different ways, than Joe Average.

Finally, I do believe that the issues with Big Sur can’t be seen separately from the introduction of Apple Silicon. Such a change of architecture is never simple. And developers now have to support 2 different hardware platforms. And although money won’t be an issue for Apple, getting enough people with the right qualifications is not easy. No matter how much money you throw at it.

Now that you mention it, you may be right. We ran 10.6.8 on our Xserves as long as we could before replacing them with Windows servers. I remember Snow Leopard as being solid as a rock.

IMO, many of the problems of any operating system are frequently filtered through our emotions. If we prefer Linux, macOS, or Windows then we are more forgiving of their shortcomings. Personally, I’ve been using Macs for the last 20 years. Professionally I used many personal and midrange computers/operating systems for much longer. Somewhere along the line they all became just tools.

Today, my primary computer is an iPad. I have a Mac mini home server but it could easily be replaced by a Windows box, especially now that Windows has a Linux subsystem. That was very close to happening recently when my monitor was blacking out due to a Big Sur problem.

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I don’t mind the new Big Sur look, don’t think it is particularly good looking but have no issue adapting to it. My biggest “gripe” is that application windows now are rounded so if you maximize it, the background desktop creates little square corners as it is still square (my wife tells me I am too detail oriented :slight_smile: )

But I too have a spotty experience with Big Sur’s quality. Installed on:
2x MacBook Pro 16"
2x Mac mini 2014
5x Mac mini 2017 (or was it 2018)
1x MacBook Air 2013
1x MacBook Air M1

Still have a few Catalina and also High Sierra iMacs that no longer are upgradable.

Big Sur is all over the place for me; one of the MacBook 16" is slow sometimes, crashes a few times a week, spotlight daemon constantly crashes and I have a so-so experience connecting it to embedded firmware target I am building (USB to JTAG). Network experience with it both WiFi and wired are … rock solid. Go figure.

Second Mac book 16" has frequent connection problems to mail, calendar, Fusion360, Slack. Safari often does not load pages even though Chrome has no issues with the same page. Crashes with Pages sometimes or using Numbers.

All notebooks and one of the minis have bluetooth issues (some more than others) - i.e., dropping out frequently, need to reset to get it back.

A few minis work just fine (they are used mainly for hardware developments) But one of the later ones is just too slow to work with and cannot hold it together for more than a day before a crash. It is not connected to a network so no network failures (haha).

The M1 works without failures and is blazing…

With exception to the M1 MacBook Air, all were running Catalina before, mostly without issues. Big Sur today feels as if it was just released a few weeks ago. I don’t have the time to do a deep dive into the issues so just muddle along. Sometimes Apple makes a true improvement and sometimes we find a fix ourselves. All this is definitely making me gun shy for the next release.

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I’ve been on Big Sur for about a month on my iMac. No issues. But, it is an iMac so there’s no dock any non-standard peripherals or dongle-land Ethernet connections. The direct ethernet connection works fine. I only have my keyboard and trackpad connected wirelessly but that’s been fine, too (working better, actually). It does seem like a lot of the issues I’ve read about will impact laptops more than iMacs. I do have all the fun toys installed that integrate with the O/S (hazel, keyboard maestro, better touch tool, text expander) but I haven’t had any issues around those.

I also have to use Windows every day at work. Things go wrong all the time and security patches requiring a reboot happen every few weeks, so no. Not interested in switching back. I think that just brings a different set of problems. Also, see ‘fun toys’ above. I don’t think that sort of environment is as robust in Windows-land.

Linux desktops: The future of computing since 1995. :slight_smile:


Don’t laugh, desktop linux has “skyrocketed” to nearly 2% of desktops worldwide.

OTOH Linux is the operating system running on every supercomputer in the world. And since every cloud service in the world depends on it none of us, with the possible exception of @OogieM :wink:, could use our Macs without it.